PDS Field Hockey Looking Formidable Again, Getting a Lift from Sindhwani’s Improved Skill Set
FAST START: Princeton Day School field hockey player Sasha Sindhwani, left, goes after the ball in a game last season. Last Friday, Sindhwani scored two goals and chipped in an assist to help PDS defeat South Hunterdon 6-0 and improve to 2-0. A day earlier, Sindhwani had a goal and an assist as the Panthers topped Stuart Country Day 6-0 in their season opener. The Panthers are slated to host George School (Pa.) on September 15 before playing at Peddie on September 18 and at Hun on September 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Sasha Sindhwani came out firing as the Princeton Day School field hockey team hosted South Hunterdon last Friday.
PDS junior forward Sindhwani scored 58 seconds into the contest and added another tally late in the first half, helping the Panthers roll to a 6-0 victory.
“We just went out there with all that we have got,” said Sindhwani.
“I think we just connected really well to begin with and that was really effective for us to get the ball down the field and score some goals. I think it was a really great game overall.”
With PDS coming off a great 2016 season which saw it go 16-4 on the way to winning the state Prep B title and advancing to the Mercer County Tournament title game, Sindhwani knows that foes will be shooting for the Panthers.
“We really have a target on our back this year but I feel this season might be a pretty good one too,” said Sindhwani, who had a goal and an assist as the Panthers defeated Stuart Country Day 6-0 in their season opener on September 7.
Sindhwani’s confidence is based, in part, on the team’s camaraderie.
“We have all been here for quite a while now,” said Sindhwani. “We all join as a team, it is not separate groups. We just have each other’s backs and I think that is really working for us.”
Putting in a lot of work over the offseason has helped Sindhwani get off to a blazing start.
“This season has been about conditioning, skills were developed outside,” said Sindhwani. “I play for the Princeton Field Hockey Club.”
PDS head coach Heather Farlow likes the skill Sindhwani has been displaying this season.
“Sasha has been outstanding,” said Farlow. “She is playing very confidently and we are trying to give her positive strokes. We are really super pleased with how she is doing.”
In Farlow’s view, the players’ familiarity with each other has helped the PDS attack quickly get into a rhythm this season.
“In terms of our team chemistry and our ball movement on the field, I think people are comfortable because they are playing in pretty much the same spots,” said Farlow.
On defense, the Panthers had to make some moves to deal with the loss of Kiely French to graduation and Eva Petschnigg moving back to her native Austria.
“We lost two defenders; we had a student, Kyra Hall, who was in the Bahamas last fall but had been a starter on defense the year before and she was returning and then we had talk to Skylar Mundenar about transitioning to defense,” said Farlow.
“She played forward and mid last year and is a solid all-around athlete. We asked her to do that because of her speed and her game sense. It has worked out really well.”
The Panthers are working toward another championship run, looking to defend their state Prep B title.
“We go game by game; it is certainly a goal but not an expectation,” said Farlow, whose team will look to keep on the winning track as it hosts George School (Pa.) on September 15 before playing at Peddie on September 18 and at Hun on September 19.
“It is something that they are striving for but we are not taking it for granted. We are just trying to get into a good position in terms of the tournament but taking it game by game.”
Sindhwani, for her part, has her sights set on a title double. “I think we have a pretty good shot,” said Sindhwani of the team’s prospects for the Prep B repeat. “We are looking to go for counties; that is the main goal coming back from last year.”